As you look at the news, there is so much going on. People need help! But why won’t they reach out? Maybe because of the stigmas associated with going to therapy and talking to a shrink. Where did that name come from anyway? It’s not like we can shrink someone’s mind. But on the contrary, we can help people think differently, in a way that will be more beneficial.
People also think that they are crazy or they are losing it. The truth is there needs to be some adjustments made to the mind. The greatest challenge any human being can have is right between their ears. Other stigmas are believing they will be labeled for going to therapy, or they see it as taboo in some cultures.
Denial is very powerful and it is more beneficial to go and see someone than to not and have a breakdown. Some may say we go to church instead of going to therapy. The truth is that those in ministry have not been trained to assist with mental illnesses (depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorders, schizophrenia) and should not attempt to counsel but refer you to those who are experienced.
Finding a good therapist is like trying on a new pair of shoes. If they are not a good fit, then keep trying until you find a pair that will make you feel comfortable and relaxed. It is your therapy session and you have a right to ask questions and feel valued. If you don’t feel comfortable asking for a referral from a loved one, ask your doctor. Some therapists, like myself, give a free 10-minute consultation to allow potential clients a chance to gain insight on their counseling style. Be sure to have questions prepared that you can ask (some examples are listed below). Remember, you are interviewing the therapist which is a great opportunity. In most instances, you can’t interview any of your doctors so interviewing your potential therapist is a plus.
Once you have made your choice, you and your therapist can work together to discuss goals and realistic expectations. Now there may be times when interventions are not working and your therapist may feel that medication is needed. Keep in mind that your therapist is experienced and should be able to discern when the pressure from things you are dealing with may be too much. Besides, you can always get a second opinion.
- How long will the session last?
- Are there any limitations to confidentiality?
- What is your style when working with a client?
- How do you determine if the client is progressing and achieving success?
- What theory do you utilize? Can you explain that theory in layman’s terms?
Sonya Waddell is a Licensed Professional Counselor right outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of “Single Ladies: Living Holy in a Sexy World” which can be purchased on Amazon.